CAP not fit for purpose

Normally the European Commission conducts fitness checks on current policy to ensure that it delivers what it what it was designed for. However for the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) no fitness check has been conducted. For this reason the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and BirdLife Europe have commissioned their own fitness check based on the same principles as the official audits: effectiveness, efficiency, internal coherence, external coherence, relevance and EU added value.

After scanning 275 scientific papers and reports they found that the CAP does show some positive effects, for example on farmers’ standard of living, and specific instruments show local and regional successes on biodiversity, ecosystem services, soil and water quality. However, the greater picture is one of an inefficient policy, where the most effective instruments are the least funded and their effects often cancelled out by other non-designated instruments.

They specifically note that the CAP has very limited effect on climate change mitigation, since livestock farming is over-proportionally subsidised and the policy does not consider the impacts on land-use change outside the EU, particularly through imported feedstock.

The lead author of the study, Guy Pe’er, concludes: “While the design and implementation of CAP instruments fails to meet current sustainability challenges, the good news is that the knowledge and tools needed to move towards a better and smarter CAP are available. What’s needed now is the political will to use them.”

Source: Is the CAP Fit for purpose? An evidence-based, rapid Fitness-Check assessment – Preliminary Summary of Key Outcomes Link:


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